By Emma Korstanje
Upon wandering into the majority of Halloween events, a few consistencies quickly become evident: there will almost always be at least one cat costume in attendance, as well as a healthy dose of food coloring and sugar cleverly shaped as corn kernels. Pair that with a plethora of smiling squashes and plastic skeletons just dying to have a good time, and the event can almost be considered a smash hit.
One other consistency will most likely be present: the playlist. As an often unchanged constant, this can easily make or break an event. With songs that seemingly date back to the days when Halloween was still referred to as “All Hallow’s Eve” and the words “Trick or Treat” did not directly translate into a request for sugary goodness, the idea that the playlist could use a tune-up is not that farfetched.
Not intended to insult the usual lineup—because if I am being honest I can do the awkward neck twitch when there’s a thrill in the air and I definitely can bust ghosts with the best of them—but it has become a bit too commonplace for comfort. Though the songs represent all that is great about October 31st and the creatures that come with it, a playlist consisting of only overplayed (regardless of how delightfully cheesy they are) classics can cause an event to rest in peace in no time.
That being said, I decided to do a little digging into the world of ghostly songs (which can get quite spooky when you get into the throngs of Marilyn Manson and the Misfits) and have emerged victorious, uncovering a few songs that were previously undiscovered in regards to Halloween jams. Use these tunes to spice up your surely already ghoulish playlists for the season and you’ll have a mix to rival that of the Boogie Man.
Athens-based college radio station, WUOG 90.5, helped Ellen Hardin discover a new favorite band: Fake Flowers.
In her first two months of college, Hardin has been directly exposed to multiple Athens-based bands. “The first three weeks of school, I went to two shows—I saw Fake Flowers, Scooterbabe, Wieuca and Stay at Home Dad. I went to the 40 Watt and the Caledonia Lounge.” Hardin says she would not have gone to these venues if it were not for volunteering at WUOG.
WUOG is owned by The University of Georgia, but is completely staffed, operated and funded by UGA students out of the Tate Student Center.
According to the WUOG website, the station is supported “mainly through student activity dollars,” and the radio station’s budget is “supplemented by underwriting from local businesses as well as donations from alumni.”
Hardin, 18, is a freshman biological science major from Woodstock, Georgia. She first heard about WUOG at the UGA Orientation Student Activities Fair last summer. She said that after orientation, she received an email from someone on staff at the station, and decided to attend a meeting to see if she was interested.
“I missed the first meeting, but my friend told me I really had to go, that I’d like it, so I decided to go to the second one,” said Hardin. She ended up at the Local Music staff meeting on the second Monday night of the school year.
“After the meeting, I really wanted to do Local Music specifically. It seemed a lot more personal and genuine, than just generic music,” Hardin said. “The group for Local Music was a lot smaller than the other groups, and the people seemed to know each other better,” said Hardin.
New WUOG volunteers are immediately immersed in the Athens music scene. “When freshmen start off at WUOG, they review bands for a semester,” said Hardin.
Local Music Director, Jonny Williams, chooses which albums and artists the volunteers review each week. “We have to listen to the albums a few times through and check for curse words,” Hardin says. “Then we write a paragraph or two about each album—some information and recommended tracks to play— and send it to Jonny.”
The station’s music philosophy, found on WUOG.org, says WUOG is “designed to help new and independent artists gain exposure on campus, in Athens, and throughout the nation.”
WUOG has monthly Live in the Lobby programs featuring local bands chosen by Williams. The bands set up in the WUOG lobby to perform a live show that is also featured on air. Reptar and R.E.M., both popular bands that gained momentum in the Classic City, have performed for the program.
“A lot of subdivisions of WUOG can go toward raising awareness of local bands,” said Hardin, “Everyone there is always boosting local shows and concerts, always saying, ‘Go check out this or that band.’”
Her experience at WUOG so far has even affected her daily music routine. “Now I find myself searching Athens bands on Spotify, and looking up shows for bands I review for the station,” said Hardin.
All UGA students are eligible to volunteer for WUOG if they are full-time students, or part-time students who have paid the semester student activities fee. For more information on joining the Local Music staff at WUOG, contact the Local Music Director, Jonny Williams (email@example.com), or attend the weekly meetings on Mondays at 6:15 p.m. in the WUOG lobby on the third floor of the Tate Student Center.
By Jared Dangremond
Autumn brings about a certain nostalgia for the acoustic guitar. Not the kind you hear down your dorm hall picking a half-hearted “Blackbird” or strumming a slightly out of tune “Wonderwall,” but the gentle kind that reminds you of the outdoors and makes you feel earthy. Maybe it’s the falling leaves or the cool autumn breeze but something about the season makes an acoustic sound very appealing.
Acoustic music is more of a style than a genre and it exists on an impossibly wide spectrum. From a large folk sound like Mumford and Sons to stripped-down ethereal vocals like Imogen Heap, acoustic music has something for everyone. It’s always a crowd pleaser, but it is a dish best served in a casual setting, probably at night. I’ve also found it is paired best with pleasant company and deep, existential conversation.
I gave the following songs a test run on a backpacking trip in the North Georgia Mountains this past summer. Don’t get me wrong, I can “nae nae” with the best of them, but unwinding to these songs after a day of hiking with a small fire going was something beyond compare. I invite you as well to take a listen to these acoustic tunes that breathe the very essence of the season.
You can check out the Spotify playlist here: http://spoti.fi/1KAIfye